Competing in the San Diego Section Division II wrestling championship tournament is a challenge with perennially state-ranked Poway embedded in the field as its top team.
Thus, the race is for second place in the team standings.
The Granite Hills Eagles won the sprint to the finish to snatch that coveted perch at last Saturday’s tournament finals at Alliant University.
Poway, as usual, rocked the team standings with a tournament best 392.5 points. Granite Hills finished in a comfortable second place position with 245 points – well ahead of third place Vista (144 points) and fourth place Scripps Ranch (120.5 points).
“Oh, it was wild!” exclaimed Eagles head coach Jesse Sheard. The top seven wrestlers in each of the 14 weight classes at the Division I and Division II tournaments received medals and, in the process, advanced to this weekend’s San Diego Section state-qualifying tournament at Christian High School in El Cajon. Competition is Friday and Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. both days.
The top four place-finishers in each 24-man weight class at the Masters tournament receive medals and advance to the following weekend’s state championship tournament in Bakersfield.
Granite Hills medaled all 14 wrestlers at last weekend’s divisional tournament, finishing with one champion (Collin Guffey at 134 pounds), three second-place finishers (Devon Wells a 128 pounds, Jayson Suetos at 140 pounds and Carson Boehm at 172 pounds), three third-place finishers (Camren Carmickle at 115 pounds, Ryan Carroll at 122 pounds and Zach Waterhouse at 147 pounds), two fourth-place finishers (Alec Peckman at 222 pounds and Logan Ransdell at 287 pounds), one fifth-place finisher (Joseph Alvernaz at 184 pounds), one sixth-place finisher (Keagan Kroeger at 154 pounds) and three seventh-place finishers (Dain Galleisky at 108 pounds, Junior Bumanglag at 162 pounds and Joseph Smith at 197 pounds).
It was a treasure trove for the Eagles medal chest.
The four finalists definitely made a statement for the program.
Guffey finished 4-0 on the day with two pins and a technical fall but had to win a tight 5-4 decision over Poway’s Brock Bobzien in the championship match to call himself a CIF champion.
Wells and Suetos both finished 3-1 while Boehm finished 2-1 in making trips to the gold medal match. Wells finished with one pin and one major decision while Suetos had two pins and one major decision and Boehm had two pins to show for their efforts.
All three Eagle mat men lost to Poway wrestlers in the championship round – Wells by a 1:01 pin to Paul Kelley, Suetos by a 15-4 major decision to Johnny Lopez and Boehm by a 1:35 pin to Lucas Condon.
In capturing third-place medals, Carmickle (two pins), Carroll (one pin, one technical fall) and Waterhouse (three pins) all finished 4-1.
Carmickle recorded a 9-0 shutout win over Grossmont’s Jacob Barnes in the medal round while Carroll posted an 8-1 decision over Scripps Ranch’s Quentin Viramontes. Waterhouse won by an injury default over Mt. Carmel’s Emery Holland in 1:21.
Peckman finished 4-2 with four pins en route to navigating a fourth-place finish while Ransdell finished 3-2 on the day with three pins.
Alvernaz finished 4-2 with four pins in recording his fifthplace medal while Kroeger finished 3-3 with two pins and an overtime decision in placing sixth.
In placing seventh, Bumanglag (three pins) and Smith (two pins) both finished 3-2 while Galleisky finished 1-2 with one pin.
Steele Canyon had three medalists at the Division II finals: Brian Nero (third, 134 pounds), Javier Sanchez (fourth, 162 pounds) and Matthew Sanchez (sixth, 122 pounds).
Valhalla had two medalists at the Division II finals: Ezra Moore (third, 172 pounds) and Anthony Coyle (fourth, 184 pounds).